Monday, January 26, 2009

Ration Cars or Ration Gas?

After we learned today that the 2020 fuel averages are to be moved up to 2011, and wondering why the President would not let the auto makers make this earth shaking announcement themselves I started wondering why. When Hector was a pup it used to take 3-5 years between the ideas, designs, testing, launch and production of vehicles which means that in order to have all these systems in place ready to sell in 2 years, they must already be almost "on the shelf" and ready to go now.

As Judge Judy says, "if it doesn't make sense, it's not true." And as presented this doesn't make a whole lot of sense. I figure there are at least two possible scenarios, if not more.

1-All auto makers will have to figure out the proportions of product from small cars to small trucks and big cars to big trucks which will bring them to the average being mandated by the government. Their guesstimates as to demand will then be factored into the formula and the customers will have their choices as to what is available and what they want to spend. I call that rationing.

2-Each household will be given a questionnaire which will include the number of family members, perhaps ages (in order to determine need for travel such as school needs, medical needs, average shopping trips, etc.,) church membersship, work from home or outside the home, vacation allowances, income level, etc. Then they will be given a "category of need" number which will give them choices based on what they should be able to afford and need. I also call that rationing.

I also call the whole idea big brotherish at the least and a dictatorship at the worst. (They could also just ration the gas, but even liberals know that Americans would balk at that.)

I was half joking when I spoke to #2 son and told him my idea and he said, "Mom, I'll bet you it won't be 3 weeks before you will have a pile of letters calling you unpatriotic--you're not doing your part to save oil." My response is that (and long time readers remember my column on re-cycling) I'm a champion at efficiently planning running errands and all the other activities lumped together under not wasting anything. Those of us in modest circumstances are forced to be prudent due to economics. Only the wealthy can afford to waste even though many of the wealthy got there by not wasting.

So there you have it. Be smart. Be patriotic. But remember, there is an "elite guard" in this country who believe that they know what is best for you--don't give them permission easily.

See ya...

1 comment: said...

You're missing a big step, Lola. Once the rationing begins, thousands of additional auto jobs will die, companies will go bankrupt and fewer people will be able to afford cars in the first place. Especially not the newer more expensive cars being mandated by the Obama administration.

Thus the cycle will continue with fewer cars being purchased leading to additional layoffs and on and on it goes.